That first family road trip is a rite of passage every dad looks forward to. It’s being able to employ your Tetris skills while packing the boot of your car - coming up with a list of crazy car games to keep the kids happy - race across the Terrafirma chasing the sun - stopping off at every single “Biggest One In The World” tourist spot and explore the magic of the great road tripping country on earth. It’s the definition of excitement, freedom, and memory-making.
The problem is, all this excitement can see you rushing your family to your car without taking the sort of simple safety precautions that may save you from a major migraine on the freeway.
So, to ensure you enjoy the kind of successful road trip that will a) lead on to an annual adventure and b) live forever in your family’s memory box. We have pulled together some top tips that will keep you safe from start to final destination.
1. Emergency Kits Are Essential
Believe it or not, the most common mistake among road tripping families is a lack of proper emergency equipment. In fact, 54% of all road-loving wanderlusters don’t check if they’ve got the right emergency tidbits in their car before they set off on their adventure. So, if you want to save yourself from being stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with misery-ridden kids, you need pack an emergency kit. Flashlight, batteries, water bottles, snacks, first-aid box, multi-purpose tool, jump leads and an old towel (because no one wants to lie on the filthy ground). Oh, and pop them all in a single bag so they are easy to access.
2. Don’t Drive Like A Fool
There are plenty of ways you can reduce the risks while on the road, and that’s by checking your driving habits. That means no driving under the influence (obviously!), resisting the thousands of distractions in your peripherals and pulling over at the first sign of a yawn. All of these are big collision-causes on the road, so do whatever it takes to minimize these risks. It could be loading up your GPS beforehand, having videos already stored on your kid’s tablet, pre-setting the radio channels and swapping the driver at regular intervals.
3. Spot The Risks Ahead Of Time
We know this may sound like left field advise because not all of us have a Minority Report machine, but there are little things we can do to limit the risks. It’s things like making yourself aware to truckers and avoiding their blind spots because - as www.InjuredByTrucker.com explains - there were 4000 accidents caused by commercial trucks last year alone. It’s also trying not to drive in the evening, which is when you’re way more likely to meet some ignorant you-know-what leaving a bar after a few too many brews thinking he’s okay to drive. Thinking like this can save you a major problem.
4. Get Clued Up On Cars
It just makes sense to learn a few DIY car maintenance skills before hitting the road. Like how to change a tire, change the wipers, bump start, siphon fuel or any number of things. You know, just in case.